From a small stint in 3 IDIOTS to a small yet significant role in Hollywood biggie FAST & FURIOUS 7, Ali Fazal has come a long way. Recently, the charming actor visited glamsham office to promote his film FAST & FURIOUS 7 and spoke in length about his maiden step in Hollywood, his experience working on FAST & FURIOUS franchise, what to expect from the film and much more. Here are the excerpts:
How FAST AND FURIOUS 7 happened to you?
FAST AND FURIOUS is significantly important role. It happened very randomly because when I was shooting for BOBBY JASOOS I got a call. I was chilling around with my friends in the mountains, up trekking there and that's when my agent Purvi called and said why don't you just try it out it being FAST & FURIOUS franchise? I took it in all fun because I didn't even have an idea that it's not an Indian part and that it's a different nationality with different accent, a different kind of walk. But yes it was good fun.
Were you always keen doing Hollywood films?
It's a one off offer that I did but I always love Bollywood. We have got great content and cinema happening and that is evident from last 2-3 years. There are some beautiful movies coming in and I am too doing some nice work. I am very happy with my progress in Bollywood. Hollywood is Hollywood. It's a good fun.
What can Indian audience expect from FAST AND FURIOUS 7 this time around?
There was a race which was supposed to happen and we were even trained for it on cars but it didn't happen because mid-way actor Paul Walker passed away and then there were few changes. We added another scene instead of that. So, more than racing and just cars, this part is about lot of drama this time around. It's good. There are huge 10-10 minutes action sequences of plain fights and then of course there is Abu Dhabi. The whole team is coming on this side of the world. My part, you will probably see somewhere mid-way in the film. I have got a sweet special appearance and there are lots of actors. It has Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, who is playing the villain. So this one is quite power-packed!
'We have great content in Bollywood, but technology wise we are 15-20 years behind.'
With actor Paul Walker's sudden demise, how much it affected the film? How his absence was filled in? Did you feel his absenteeism?
After Paul Walker's death, there was a lot of support from everyone in Hollywood. His absence was quite weird. I mean, I remember the first time I went and shot at Atlanta. My scenes were with Paul, in fact with the entire gang of FAST & FURIOUS 7. There was Paul and Vin with me…It was just great… We also celebrated Paul's birthday on the sets. We also had fun shooting that particular scene where every one of us was together. It was really funny as we took about 7-8 takes to finish it because we were just laughing incessantly. We were repeatedly doing this scene. And then when I was filming BOBBY JASOOS, I remember I came back from a late night shoot at 5 in the morning, I got a call and switched on the TV only to discover that Paul was no more. It was horrible! Then when I went back in April for the second schedule, literally two months from his demise, it was really hard to face that fact. You could see it with everyone. Though I didn't even know him that well, I just met him on the sets, I teared up when I saw what they were doing it with his role. The whole VFX team was working on creating Paul Walker again in the film.
But was it difficult to cover the part in his absence…
It was of course difficult. It took double the time but I guess Universal was very good at it. Everyone was kind of very co-operative because every scene that had him, had to be kind of done again inside the VFX room, and Cody Walker, his brother, was also there, Caleb Walker, his second brother, and another actor, who is imitating his dialogues, were there to cover up his part…Mere toh upar se gaya (giggles), but it's going to be fabulous. I was recently dubbing the movie in some other languages and I saw some footages also, it's simply unbelievable and unreal. You can't even make out that he is not there. Paul is there but he is not there!
What all things you could learn while working on this film, since it was your debut Hollywood venture?
I will tell you very honestly, we have a great content in India, and I think we are at par if not better in content. We are just 15 to 20 years behind in terms of technology and that's the reason why we lack there because technology is what consumes money. So, Hollywood films have huge budget. They rake in huge moolahs as well at Box-office.
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